I know, I know, traditional Chinese wontons should be made of minced (ground) pork. My mother always makes wontons with minced (ground) pork and prawns (shrimp). However, I wanted to try with chicken. Why? It’s not that we don’t dig on swine, it’s just because we don’t eat much pork these days.
The filling consists of minced (ground) chicken thighs, shiitake mushrooms, spring (green) onions, water chestnuts, Chinese leaf (napa cabbage) and seasonings. In essence, they are closer to jiaozi than the classic wonton. The resulting dumplings are succulent, juicy and packed full of flavor. The trick is to leave the fat on boneless, skinless chicken thighs before chopping them in the food processor.
They are freezer friendly. I simply place them onto a tray, not touching each other and freeze until frozen. Once they are frozen, transfer to a re-sealable freezer bag or container, and freeze until needed. Cook from frozen by dropping them into hot water, stock (broth) or soup. You can also fry these when fresh to make a delicious appetizer.
- 450 g (1 lb) Chinese leaf (napa cabbage), finely sliced
- 1 ½ t salt
- 450 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped until minced (ground) in a food processor
- 2 ½ T light soy sauce
- 3 T sesame oil
- 2 t finely chopped ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 t cracked black pepper
- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water and finely diced
- 3 spring (green) onions, finely sliced
- 1 x 227 g (8 oz) tin water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 1 T chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 90 wonton skins (about two packets)
1. Mix Chinese leaf (napa cabbage) with salt and let sit for 20 minutes.
2. Take 1-2 handfuls of the salted cabbage and place into the center of a tea (kitchen) towel. Wrap the edges of the towel up around the salted cabbage and wring the moisture out. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining salted cabbage.
3. Place “dried” cabbage, chopped chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, black pepper, shiitake mushrooms, onions, water chestnuts, chili flakes and coriander (cilantro) into a large bowl. With clean hands blend the mixture thoroughly.
4. Divide the meat mixture and use to fill the wonton skins, sealing with water (or lightly beaten egg).
5. To boil from fresh, simply drop into boiling water, stock or soup and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked in the middle. To boil from frozen, allow 6-7 minutes boiling time. Enjoy!